Young people’s views of the outcomes of non-formal education in youth organisations: its effects on human, social and psychological capital, employability and employment

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Souto-Otero, Manuel (2016)

This article aims to contribute to a better understanding of the role of youth organisations in enhancing the employability of young people through the development of different forms of capital: human, social and psychological. Instead of asking questions about who access extra-curricular activities that may provide young people with positional advantages in the labour market and the class biases that arise in access, the article explores whether the benefits obtained from participation vary by socio-economic background. We make use of the Youth organisations and employability (YOE) database, which contains data from over 1000 young people in more than 40 European countries on the effects of involvement in youth organisations on different forms of capital: human, social and psychological. We find positive effects of involvement on all three forms of capital. The analysis suggests that the characteristics of the involvement in youth organisations are better predictors of its outcomes than are personal characteristics, and find no significant effects of socio-economic background on the reported benefits of participation in our sample. Policy implications are derived from these findings, calling for greater policy support to increase opportunities for the involvement of young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds in youth organisations and for better informing young people of the benefits of sustained involvement with youth organisations.
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